Geum-joo contemplates what resetting her life might look like, and despite things taking a major detour, she still manages to stay true to herself. She continues to live up to her motto of being a forever friend, and that commitment yields its fair share of both successes and missteps. But now the question is, how will Geum-joo’s new life be affected if she were to accept a forever friend of her own?
Note: Due to another baseball pre-emption, this is the only episode of Woman With a Suitcase to air this week.
EPISODE 9: “I’m Demanding a Retrial for My Life”
Bok-geo suggests to an emotional Geum-joo that they hug after they eat, bringing her to her senses. After they make their introductions, Geum-joo and Bok-geo each place food on Min-ah’s plate, making the three of them look like a happy family.
Over at Golden Tree, a forgotten Suk-woo has been waiting for Geum-joo to return. He walks outside and sees Bok-geo and Geum-joo sitting in the garden below.
Geum-joo is quiet, and Bok-geo can’t tell if she’s happy or angry with him. Geum-joo wonders about the woman who was with top star Yoo Tae-ho, but Bok-geo tells her to wait a bit more. Surprisingly, Geum-joo readily agrees, declaring that she’ll trust him.
Bok-geo drives Geum-joo to her study dorm where they hear that her room was ransacked, and that the CCTV was broken as well. Geum-joo rushes to her room with Bok-geo close behind her and gasps at the mess that awaits her, papers strewn everywhere, her beloved suitcase lying open.
Bok-geo stands in her doorway, somberly taking in the scene. He forces a light tone, teasing that the robber picked the wrong person to target, since she doesn’t have anything valuable. Geum-joo takes exception to his comment, replying that her cases are valuable to her.
The next morning, Geum-joo informs Manager Hwang and An-na that Min-ah is alive. An-na is excited that they will be working on the case again, but Manager Hwang cautions her that they must proceed cautiously.
But when Attorney Goo hears them talking about the case that sent Geum-joo to prison and how Min-ah is alive, she stutters that her hand is suddenly shaking.
The K-Fact team reviews Min-ah’s case now that they know about the recording that she made of Yoo Tae-ho. Bok-geo acknowledges that the case revolves around the identity of the woman who was with Yoo Tae-ho that fateful night. He decides that their next course of action will be to follow the Hallyu star.
The boy once indicted for Min-ah’s murder, Oh Gyeong-hwan, is working at a convenience store when a customer places a telltale lollipop onto the counter. CEO Lee’s henchman asks the boy if he is Oh Gyeong-hwan and identifies himself as a janitor, tasked with retrieving something from him and getting rid of it. He knows the boy knows what he’s talking about, and mimics a phone for effect.
Geum-joo later enters the same convenience store with a photo of Oh Gyeong-hwan. CEO Lee’s janitor is now working behind the counter instead of Oh Gyeong-hwan, and claims that he can’t be sure about the boy in the photo. Geum-joo and CEO Lee’s accomplice talk while Oh Gyeong-hwan hides in a storeroom. He considers coming out while Geum-joo is there, but hesitates and misses his chance.
Reporter Baek shows Bok-geo some surveillance photos, pointing out one that shows CEO Lee’s assistant following Geum-joo. Reporter Baek can’t identify the man because his face isn’t in the K-Fact database. Bok-geo suddenly wants to know where Geum-joo is.
Outside of the convenience store, Geum-joo answers Bok-geo’s call. He reminds her that she promised not to roam around by herself, and takes her shopping for a jacket for Min-ah. After finding something for the girl, Geum-joo tries on a jacket for herself, but it’s too pricey. Of course Bok-geo buys it for her, and tells her that she should wear something expensive to hide that she’s poor.
Bok-geo rides along as his driver maneuvers closer to a car so that Reporter Baek can get a good photo. The driver of that car, Yoo Tae-ho, notices that he’s being followed and calls his manager, who is following in another vehicle. Bok-geo’s driver gets alongside Yoo Tae-ho’s car before he’s blocked by the manager’s van.
Yoo Tae-ho exits his car to offer Bok-geo a photo of his companion, who is his coordinator. The K-Fact team realizes that they failed in discovering the identity of the woman who was recorded with Yoo Tae-ho. Later, as his manager drives him away, Yoo Tae-ho makes a call and tells someone, “Noona, K-Fact’s CEO followed us.”
Outside the K-Fact office, Bok-geo points upstairs as he tells Geum-joo that this is her new home. Inside Bok-geo’s home, Geum-joo is surprised to see that all of her things are now in his entryway. She asks him if he’s worried about her, but he covers by saying that he’s just worried that Min-ah will get lonely. She agrees to stay in his house for Min-ah’s sake.
Suk-woo helps with the customers at his parents’ restaurant. After closing, his father asks when he will be bringing the person that he told them about. Suk-woo explains that she was busy and couldn’t join him after all. Aw.
Later, Suk-woo waits for Geum-joo at her study dorm, texting to tell her that he brought food. One of the residents recognizes him and tells him that “a handsome man” already came and took Geum-joo’s things.
Suk-woo calls Geum-joo to tell her that he’s at her study dorm with food from his parents. She glances at Bok-geo and decides to tell Suk-woo that she’s meeting with a client rather than tell him the truth.
Bok-geo takes offense at her answer and calls for her loudly, telling her where the towels can be found in order to make it sound like they’re in an intimate relationship. It’s clear that Geum-joo is staying with Bok-geo, and Suk-woo looks crestfallen at the news.
The next morning, Manager Hwang and An-na notice Suk-woo sulking at his desk. When Geum-joo shows up, An-na gestures toward Suk-woo, and Geum-joo realizes that he’s upset because of her.
Prosecutor Choi asks Hye-joo to work on his divorce case, telling her that he wants her back. He then asks Hye-joo if she’s actually interested in Bok-geo, but she doesn’t answer.
Hye-joo meets Bok-geo at K-Fact with news about a big case: Hye-ryung will soon be served with divorce papers. Hye-joo cautions Bok-geo to stay away from the case, explaining CEO Lee wants Hye-ryung’s position, and he’ll retaliate against K-Fact and Golden Tree if Bok-geo interferes.
Hye-joo tells Bok-geo that she will think about leaving Oh Sung after she finishes with her current case. He encourages her to hurry so that she can join in congratulating Geum-joo when something good happens for her. Hye-joo says that it sounds as if he’s planning to propose, but Bok-geo only tells her to ask Geum-joo about it later. Hye-joo looks anything but pleased about Geum-joo’s anticipated good fortune.
Bok-geo enters his surprisingly tidy house to find Geum-joo busily grilling meat for Min-ah. Min-ah sees that he’s home, and Geum-joo explains that she wants the girl to build up her strength. Bok-geo cutely scolds Geum-joo for eating food that’s too hot before sitting with them to share another family meal.
Manager Hwang, An-na, and Bok-geo’s driver weigh in on the Bok-geo vs. Suk-woo contest. An-na favors Suk-woo, and the K-Fact driver votes for his boss. Attorney Goo joins in, pointing out that a man’s maturity is most important.
An-na thinks that Attorney Goo prefers Bok-geo because he’s rich, but she argues that he and Geum-joo are so destined for one another that they’re even living together. An-na argues that Geum-joo is only there for Min-ah’s sake which Suk-woo overhears, visibly happy with the explanation.
Geum-joo meets a new client who wants to sue malicious commenters. She has retained Yoo-ri’s fan, introducing him as an expert in fan psychology. She suggests that her client, who is the singer of My Forever Friend and sporting a sunny yellow suit, discuss his case with her expert, who explains to the client that mildly vicious comments are better than none at all.
Bok-geo is waiting for the meeting to end so that he can ask Geum-joo what time she will be home, but Suk-woo is quick to interject that they have a lot of work to do.
Bok-geo suggests that Geum-joo could work upstairs so that she can hurry home to a waiting Min-ah. Suk-woo invites himself over to meet Min-ah, but Bok-geo promises an invitation at a later time.
Bok-geo’s answers his doorbell later to find an undeterred Suk-woo bearing a bag of snacks. Bok-geo takes the snacks and dismisses the attorney, but Suk-woo lets himself in anyway, ha. He introduces himself to Min-ah, who looks shy. Geum-joo points out that it is because Suk-woo is handsome, and Bok-geo bristles at the description.
To prove his point, Bok-geo has Min-ah choose who she thinks is more handsome out of the two of them. (This can’t end well.) She chooses Suk-woo despite Bok-geo’s protests, explaining that a face like Suk-woo’s is very popular. Bok-geo refuses to concede, and Geum-joo just shakes her head as he argues his case to Min-ah.
Geum-joo works on her cases at Bok-geo’s house and notices that he has fallen asleep on the couch while clutching her cushion. She tries to retrieve it, but she wakes Bok-geo, who pretends that he’s still sleeping.
Bok-geo suddenly opens his eyes and pulls a startled Geum-joo onto his lap. She seems flustered by their proximity, and remains frozen until Bok-geo asks if she is going to remain sitting there. She makes an excuse about her cushion and walks off.
The K-Fact team is informed that the woman who is dating Yoo Tae-ho is waiting to meet with Bok-geo. An older, very average-looking woman explains to Bok-geo that she met the popular star the previous summer in Rome. She recounts that he fell for her and giddily adds that they might end up married, indicating that she’s a crazy person.
An-na is a huge fan of Yoo Tae-ho and reacts excitedly when she hears that his alleged girlfriend is on the premises. Bok-geo’s driver can’t understand her interest and cautions her not to like the man. Editor Go and Reporter Baek steel themselves for An-na’s intense defense of her idol.
Editor Go reasons that Yoo Tae-ho’s alleged girlfriend may have imagined their relationship, which Bok-geo has figured out for himself as his guest describes a very indirect, made-up relationship with the star.
The Golden Tree team is hard at work on Min-ah’s case as Suk-woo theorizes that if Min-ah didn’t hide her phone, Oh Gyeong-hwan may know where it is. He reviewed Oh Gyeong-hwan’s lie detector evidence and noticed that he wasn’t truthful when questioned about the phone. Suk-woo suggests a retrial, but unfortunately, they haven’t been able to locate the boy.
That’s because Oh Gyeong-hwan is currently in a deserted warehouse tied to a chair, his face bearing the marks of a beating. His captor, CEO Lee’s janitor, admits that he can’t control himself when he beats his victims. As he prepares to continue, Oh Geyong-hwan tells his captor where he can find Min-ah’s phone.
Hidden in an alleyway, CEO Lee sits in his car with his janitor. Min-ah’s phone is handed over, and CEO Lee watches the Yoo Tae-ho video, laughing in delight when he discovers that the woman in the bed is Hye-ryung.
Just then, a team of investigators enters Hye-ryung’s office with a search warrant, alleging that the Oh Sung Art Center is linked to slush funds. As the investigators leave with boxes of evidence, her sister-in-law, Han Ji-eun, suggests that Hye-ryung give up.
CEO Lee’s hired killer believes that Hye-ryung was behind Min-ah’s attack in an attempt to retrieve the video. CEO Lee comments that her effort to defend herself has given him a destructive weapon. The CEO compliments his janitor, who looks uncharacteristically troubled.
Geum-joo, Suk-woo, and Manager Hwang see the breaking story about Hye-ryung’s arrest. Prosecutor Choi is with Hye-ryung, and he informs her that the evidence proves that funds were sent overseas through a paper company. He echoes Han Ji-eun’s suggestion that she should give up. Suk-woo and Geum-joo enter the interrogation room as Hye-ryung’s potential legal representatives, and are hired by her on the spot.
Hye-ryung meets with Attorney Goo, Suk-woo, and Geum-joo, giving them some background about her divorce. She has been under pressure to divorce for a few years and hands over court documents to Geum-joo. Attorney Goo correctly concludes that the slush fund investigation was meant to pressure Hye-ryung to agree to a divorce.
Suk-woo points out that it is an illegal strategy, but Attorney Goo explains that the dilemma is either to divorce, or go to jail. Geum-joo’s assessment of Hye-ryung’s case is that she will lose, leading to a divorce. Oh Sung has prepared a strong case, but Hye-ryung is adamant that she doesn’t want a divorce under any circumstances. Geum-joo accepts her client’s choice, explaining that what is most important to their team is the client’s will.
Geum-joo informs Bok-geo that Golden Tree has been entrusted with Hye-ryung’s divorce case, but she is concerned that there will be repercussions. She’d still like to keep the case though, so he agrees as long as Geum-joo promises not to go anywhere by herself. Bok-geo tells Geum-joo that between Min-ah’s case and a fight with Oh Sung, he can’t feel at ease.
Han Ji-eun meets with CEO Lee about Hye-ryung’s case. She suggests that Hye-joo offer Geum-joo money to lose the case, but Hye-joo retorts that money can’t solve everything — there are problems in Oh Sung’s case against Hye-ryung that need to be fixed. Han Ji-eun objects to Hye-joo’s criticisms, and things get heated between the two women. CEO Lee quickly ends the meeting.
Golden Tree prepares an outrageous counterclaim on behalf of Hye-ryung. She is hesitant, causing Attorney Goo to emphasize how she is risking her career to go against CEO Lee.
Geum-joo encourages Hye-ryung to trust Attorney Goo. Hye-ryung agrees to their plan as long as they promise complete confidentiality, and she asks that their contract be amended to include the condition that they can’t use any information they might discover against her. Attorney Goo agrees, and Hye-ryung leaves with a satisfied look on her face.
The K-Fact team meets with their computer specialist as Editor Go wonders if their subjects have figured out that using paparazzi is a trap. The computer tech shows Bok-geo the number that the road manager uses to make calls to Yoo Tae-ho.
Hye-ryung gets a call and meets with CEO Lee at the Art Center. She tells him that he wasted his time as she’s decided to file a counterclaim in her case. She walks away, stopping in her tracks when CEO Lee says, “Yoo Tae-ho,” informing Hye-ryung that he has the damning video clip. To trade, CEO Lee claims he wants the same thing she does: Oh Sung.
Hye-joo expresses surprise to Geum-joo that Bok-geo gave permission for Golden Tree to handle Hye-ryung’s case. Geum-joo asks if Hye-joo approached Bok-geo about avoiding the case, and she admits that she did, hoping to protect K-Fact.
Hye-joo suggests that Geum-joo should accept losing the case to her, unless she wants to return to prison. Geum-joo tells Hye-joo to pay back what she owes — and by that, she means with Min-ah’s case, which is tied to Oh Sung.
Geum-joo informs Hye-joo that she will reopen the case and wonders if she wants to start over from the incident that changed them. Hye-joo answers that she isn’t a meager paralegal like Geum-joo, but an Oh Sung attorney with too much to lose.
Geum-joo straightens up Bok-geo’s living room and discovers an album labeled “Golden Tree” containing photos of her with notes like, “Likes knock-offs.” There is even a photo of her smashing the windshield of her ex-husband’s car. (That explains how he knew that she had been arrested.)
It turns out that Bok-geo knows quite a bit about his paralegal. Before Geum-joo can finish the album, Bok-geo shows up and snatches it from her hands.
Geum-joo accuses Beok-geo of being a stalker and dubs him Hamtalker, asking why he had her followed. She promises to forgive him if he allows her to see the last page of the album, but he refuses.
Bok-geo sits in his K-Fact office, reading various notes in the album like, “She likes an ice bar/It doesn’t look like she has a good relationship with her sister/She is pretty when she cries.” He even wrote himself a note that reads, “Why do I hurt?” He declares that he must have been drunk when he wrote that one.
Suk-woo is reviewing evidence with an expert when Bok-geo appears, motioning Suk-woo outside. He asks about Suk-woo’s confession and takes his sigh as evidence that he was rejected.
Suk-woo insists that he still has a chance with Geum-joo, but Bok-geo advises him that relationships aren’t like court, since there is no reopening a settled case. Suk-woo promises to be persistent, and Bok-geo tsks that the attorney can’t help himself because he is inexperienced.
Bok-geo changes gears and asks if Suk-woo has money, noting that Geum-joo appreciates extravagant items. Suk-woo counters that she likes simple items as well, citing how she appreciated his simple ruler gift.
Suk-woo tells Bok-geo that all that he can do is spend a crazy amount of money on Geum-joo before chiding Bok-geo for interrupting his work. Bok-geo explains that he was curious about the excuses Geum-joo makes when she rejects someone.
Bok-geo gets a call from Reporter Baek, who reports that Geum-joo is entering someone’s house with a realtor. The elegantly dressed Geum-joo balks at signing a contract, saying that she needs proof that the house did indeed belong to Han Ji-hoon of Oh Sung, such as a family picture. The realtor produces a family photo that shows Hye-ryung, her husband, and a teenage girl.
Geum-joo walks alone and thinks about how a retrial gives one another chance. She discovered a fact that proved that the case wasn’t over, and that her decision wasn’t wrong. Looking determined, she decides to claim a retrial for her life.
Bok-geo pulls up in a convertible, pointing out that Geum-joo violated her promise, even though she explains that she was checking on Hye-ryung’s husband. Bok-geo compliments Geum-joo’s elegant look, preferring it over that of Madam Cha.
Bok-geo wonders what she found out, but Geum-joo challenges him about the identity of Yoo Tae-ho’s woman. He tells her to get in his car — he has something to tell her.
He pulls over on a tree-lined street and starts to take a small box from his pocket. He pauses, and Geum-joo inquires about what he wanted to tell her. Bok-geo asks her to accompany him, and she thinks that he’s in legal trouble again… but Bok-geo clarifies that he wants Geum-joo to be his companion for life.
Geum-joo reacts with a confused look and tries to form an answer. Bok-geo can tell that he’s about to be rejected and asks her to just stay still. A fallen leaf has landed on her head, and Bok-geo moves close to remove it. Geum-joo squeezes her eyes shut, shrinking from him. Unseen, he looks at her tenderly and smiles.
Reporter Baek is close by and catches the moment on camera. Bok-geo pushes the switch to close the car’s top, and Geum-joo opens her eyes at the sound. Bok-geo kisses her just as the top shields them, causing Reporter Baek to lament that her boss is on to them.
Geum-joo hits the top’s switch and it retracts, leaving them back out in the open. Reporter Baek gets her photos after all, before Geum-joo pulls away from Bok-geo. Satisfied, Reporter Baek tells her companion that they can go.
Bok-geo breaks their silence to ask if she opened the top to spread rumors, but she claims it was just an accident. He then tells Geum-joo that he will wait for her true answer, adding that he’s very good at waiting. Geum-joo looks away, and then turns back to Bok-geo.
Geum-joo is encouraged by the opportunity of a retrial in the case that sent her to prison, hopeful that it might reset her life. She offered that second chance to Hye-joo too, by asking if they can go back and start over with the case that altered their once close relationship. Hye-joo couldn’t have been more cruel in her rejection of Geum-joo’s olive branch, calling her a “meager paralegal.” She has not one shred of gratitude left in her, and takes great satisfaction in minimizing the sister who was always loyal to her. Hye-joo has become another shark in the Oh Sung practice, and it has affected every part of her life. Even so, I’m sure that when Oh Sung’s corruption comes to light, Geum-joo will extend a hand to Hye-joo (not that she deserves it).
The addition of a teenage girl certainly changed the dynamics of Geum-joo’s relationship with Bok-geo. Suddenly, she saw a different side of him and was able to trust him. That’s not to say that he’s not still petty and contrary as he consistently shows us, only that there is much more to him than that. Min-ah, the homeless girl that Bok-geo has protected for over a year, served to bring two very strong personalities together, united by their concern for the well-being of the girl. Through their care and attention, Min-ah thrives. Bok-geo also seemed to grow in his appreciation for Geum-joo, as he witnesses her domestic/nurturing side, and it turns out that he’s content to sit at home just reading a book if the right people are there with him.
As Bok-geo and Geum-joo drift closer to one another, Suk-woo seems to know that Geum-joo is drifting away from him. He is desperate to move out of Geum-joo’s friend zone, but so far, he’s having little luck. With Min-ah now in the picture, Geum-joo doesn’t have the time to spend with Suk-woo, and he has to resort to inviting himself over to Bok-geo’s house. How cute was Min-ah when she gave Suk-woo her vote for being handsome though? And how petty was Bok-geo, yet again, unable to realize that Min-ah sees him more as a father figure than a handsome man? At least Geum-joo recognized the girl’s feelings and cringed at Bok-geo’s attempt to argue his way to victory.
Bok-geo’s confrontation with Suk-woo about his confession revealed how differently the two men view Geum-joo. In the sum of their experiences lies the real woman. She does like extravagant items and small, thoughtful ones as well. She is a strong woman, but she has her limits, and though she’s a good friend, she could use some of her own. Bok-geo’s secret album revealed how well he knows Geum-joo, because he’s witnessed her darkest and loneliest moments. It also revealed how genuine his affection is for her, because having seen Geum-joo at her worst, Bok-geo still cares for her — in fact, he has only come to care more for her. Sometimes it seems that Bok-geo’s interest in Geum-joo is more about his competition with Suk-woo, but his album illustrates the genuineness of his feelings for her.
In fact, going through that album seemed to cement Geum-joo’s place in Bok-geo’s heart. Which brings us to that proposal and kiss. I expected a kiss, but not the heartfelt proposal. It was touching due to its simplicity and, as his nervousness betrayed, Bok-geo was deeply moved by the woman before him. Geum-joo was understandably shocked, but couldn’t seem to voice a rejection. There’s still hope as far as Bok-geo is concerned, proving that he’s not so different from Suk-woo after all.
But then Geum-joo looked as if she was kissing a lemon. I know that she was taken by surprise by the proposal, but it will be refreshing when she finally allows herself to reciprocate Bok-geo’s affection. He really does know Geum-joo very well at this point, so well that he suspects there was a reason behind her lowering the top on the convertible. Now that she is aware that Bok-geo is having her followed and photographed, it looks as if she is somehow using that for her own purpose. Bok-geo has been played by Geum-joo often enough that he can see through her feigned innocence. As these two close in on solving the case that is tied to Oh Sung, their understanding of one another will be of crucial importance. In the meantime, we can look forward to Geum-joo taking her life back — all of it.